This family has been using these wonderful affirmation flash cards by @darlyngandco to teach Ariana positive affirmations! Check it out! Credit/Instagram: @ariana_young828
This family has been using these wonderful affirmation flash cards by @darlyngandco to teach Ariana positive affirmations! Check it out! Credit/Instagram: @ariana_young828
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia said Saturday it intercepted a missile attack over its capital and bomb-laden drones targeting a southern province, the latest in a series of airborne assaults it has blamed on Yemen’s rebel Houthis. The Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen’s yearslong war announced the Iran-allied Houthis had launched a ballistic missile toward Riyadh and three booby-trapped drones toward the province of Jizan, with a fourth toward another southwestern city and other drones being monitored. No casualties or damage were initially reported. There was no immediate comment from the Houthis. The attack comes amid sharply rising tensions in the Middle East, a day after a mysterious explosion struck an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman. That blast renewed concerns about ship security in the strategic waterways that saw a spate of suspected Iranian attacks on oil tankers in 2019. The state-owned Al-Ekhbariya TV broadcast footage of what appeared to be explosions in the air over Riyadh. Social media users also posted videos, with some showing residents shrieking as they watched the fiery blast pierce the night sky, which appeared to be the kingdom’s Patriot missile batteries intercepting the ballistic missile. Col. Turki al-Maliki, the spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said the Houthis were trying in “a systematic and deliberate way to target civilians.” The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh issued a warning to Americans, calling on them to “stay alert in case of additional future attacks.” Flight-tracking websites showed a number of flights scheduled to land at Riyadh’s international airport diverted or delayed in the hour after the attack. A civil defence spokesman, Mohammed al-Hammadi, later said scattered debris resulted in material damage to one house, though no one was hurt, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported. As Yemen's war grinds on, Houthi missile and drone attacks on the kingdom have grown commonplace, only rarely causing damage. Earlier this month the Houthis struck an empty passenger plane at Saudi Arabia's southwestern Abha airport with a bomb-laden drone, causing it to catch fire. Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition has faced widespread international criticism for airstrikes in Yemen that have killed hundreds of civilians and hit non-military targets, including schools, hospitals and wedding parties. President Joe Biden announced this month he was ending U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, including “relevant” arms sales. But he stressed that the U.S. would continue to help Saudi Arabia defend itself against outside attacks. The Houthis overran Yemen’s capital and much of the country's north in 2014, forcing the government into exile and months later prompting Saudi Arabia and its allies to launch a bombing campaign. __ Associated Press writer Samy Magdy in Cairo contributed to this report. Isabel Debre, The Associated Press
(Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse/The Associated Press - image credit) Health Canada's approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Serum Institute of India's version to prevent COVID-19 in adults follows similar green lights from regulators in the United Kingdom, Europe Union, Mexico and India. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, called ChAdOx1, was approved for use in Canada on Friday following clinical trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil that showed a 62.1 per cent efficacy in reducing symptomatic cases of COVID-19 cases among those given the vaccine. Experts have said any vaccine with an efficacy rate of over 50 per cent could help stop outbreaks. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, said the key number across all of the clinical trials for those who received AstraZeneca's product was zero — no deaths, no hospitalizations for serious COVID-19 and no deaths because of an adverse effect of the vaccine. "I think Canada is hungry for vaccines," Sharma said in a briefing. "We're putting more on the buffet table to be used." Specifically, 64 of 5,258 in the vaccination group got COVID-19 with symptoms compared with people in the control group given injections (154 of 5,210 got COVID-19 with symptoms). Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's University Health Network, called it a positive move to have AstraZeneca's vaccines added to Canada's options. "Even though the final efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine appears lower than what we have with the mRNA vaccines, it's still reasonably good," Hota said. "What we need to be focusing on is trying to get as many people as possible vaccinated so we can prevent the harms from this." Canada has an agreement with AstraZeneca to buy 20 million doses as well as between 1.9 million and 3.2 million doses through the global vaccine-sharing initiative known as COVAX. WATCH | AstraZeneca vaccine overview: Canada will also receive 2 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the government announced Friday. Here's a look at some common questions about the vaccine, how it works, in whom and how it could be rolled out. What's different about this shot? The Oxford-AstraZeneca is cheaper and easier to handle than the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which need to be stored at ultracold temperatures to protect the fragile genetic material. AstraZeneca says its vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2 to 8 C) for at least six months. (Moderna's product can be stored at refrigeration temperatures for 30 days after thawing.) The ease of handling could make it easier to administer AstraZeneca's vaccine in rural and remote areas of Canada and the world. "There are definitely some advantages to having multiple vaccine candidates available to get to as many Canadians as possible," Hota said. Sharma said while the product monograph notes that evidence for people over age 65 is limited, real-world data from countries already using AstraZeneca's vaccine suggest it is safe and effective among older age groups. "We have real-world evidence from Scotland and the U.K. for people that have been dosed that would have been over 80 and that has shown significant drop in hospitalizations," Sharma said, based on a preprint. Data from clinical trials is more limited compared with in real-world settings that reflect people from different age groups, medical conditions and other factors. How does it work? Vaccines work by training our immune system to recognize an invader. The first two vaccines to protect against COVID-19 that were approved for use in Canada deliver RNA that encodes the spike protein on the surface of the pandemic coronavirus. Health-care workers Diego Feitosa Ferreira, right, and Clemilton Lopes de Oliveira travel on a boat in the state of Amazonas in Brazil, on Feb. 12, to vaccinate residents with the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The product can be stored at refrigeration temperatures, which facilitates its use in remote areas. In contrast, the AstraZeneca vaccine packs the genetic information for the spike protein in the shell of a virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees. Vaccine makers altered the adenovirus so it can't grow in humans. Viral vector vaccines mimic viral infection more closely than some other kinds of vaccines. One disadvantage of viral vectors is that if a person has immunity toward a particular vector, the vaccine won't work as well. But people are unlikely to have been exposed to a chimpanzee adenovirus. AstraZeneca is working on reformulating its vaccine to address more transmissible variants of coronavirus. How and where could it be used? Virologist Eric Arts at Western University in London, Ont., said vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, which is also under review by Health Canada, and Russian Sputnik-V vaccines all have some similarities. "I do like the fact that AstraZeneca has decided to continue trials, to work with the Russians on the Sputnik-V vaccine combination," said Arts, who holds the Canada Research Chair in HIV pathogenesis and viral control. Boxes with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at St. Mary's Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Health Canada says the vaccine is given by two separate injections of 0.5 millilitres each into the muscle of the arm. "The reason why I'm encouraged by it is I think there might be greater opportunity to administer those vaccines in low- to middle-income countries. We need that. I think our high-income countries have somewhat ignored the situation that is more significant globally." Researchers reported on Feb. 2 in the journal Lancet that in a Phase 3 clinical trial involving about 20,000 people in Russia, the two-dose Sputnik-V vaccine was about 91 per cent effective and appears to prevent inoculated individuals from becoming severely ill with COVID-19. WATCH | Performance of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine so far: There were 16 COVID-19 cases in the vaccine group (0.1 per cent or 16/14,964) and 62 cases (1.3 per cent or [62/4,902) in the control group. No serious adverse events were associated with vaccination. Most adverse events were mild, such as flu-like symptoms, pain at injection site and weakness or low energy. Arts and other scientists acknowledged the speed and lack of transparency of the Russian vaccination program. But British scientists Ian Jones and Polly Roy wrote in an accompanying commentary that the results are clear and add another vaccine option to reduce the incidence of COVID-19.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Sunday Feb. 28, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 61,729 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,836,328 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 4,845.285 per 100,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,441,670 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 75.21 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 3,827 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 20,285 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 38.739 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 33,820 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 59.98 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,485 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 12,176 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 76.758 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 14,715 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.75 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 6,987 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 32,019 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 32.81 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 61,980 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 51.66 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 5,135 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 26,317 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 33.738 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 46,775 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 56.26 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 17,859 new vaccinations administered for a total of 418,399 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 48.898 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 537,825 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.79 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 24,339 new vaccinations administered for a total of 668,104 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 45.483 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 903,285 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 73.96 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 2,085 new vaccinations administered for a total of 73,554 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 53.416 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 108,460 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 67.82 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 6,050 new vaccinations administered for a total of 75,501 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 64.03 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 74,605 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 101.2 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 11,396 new vaccinations administered for a total of 218,696 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 49.681 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 274,965 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 79.54 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 252,373 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 49.18 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 323,340 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 78.05 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 15,174 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 363.615 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 18,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 80.29 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 16,454 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 364.68 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 19,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 42 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 86.15 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 7,276 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 187.884 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 23,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 62 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 30.44 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published February 28, 2021. The Canadian Press
TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $12 million jackpot in Saturday night's Lotto 649 draw.However, the draw's guaranteed $1 million prize went to a lottery player in Ontario.The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Mar. 3 will be approximately $15 million. The Canadian Press
Bullet casings were reportedly found in Yangon after reports of gunfire at an anti-coup protest in the capital.View on euronews
(Danny Globerman/CBC - image credit) The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) has given its parents a two-week deadline to decide whether their children will attend school virtually or in-person this fall. The board says parents will receive a form on Monday and are required to return it by March 14 with their decision on what they plan to do come September, more than five months away. According to OCDSB, if parents don't return the form, they'll assume the students will be attending in-person. "This is an important decision, and we encourage you to discuss this matter with your child," a letter sent to parents Saturday morning reads. "Remember, this decision will be for the entire school year. It will be difficult to transition students later unless it is a critical situation." 'Mechanisms in place' to consider changes At a board meeting live streamed last week, Brett Reynolds, associate director of education, said they're expecting the vast majority of parents to opt for in-person learning. He said the decision needs to be made now so that staffing and scheduling decisions can happen in accordance with collective agreements. While the deadline is tight, if circumstances change and parents need to change streams, they'll have options, Reynolds said. "For those people who make the decision and then really, really, really find themselves in a situation where they need support moving back to in-person, we always have mechanisms in place to consider those [requests]," he said. Ottawa-Carleton Assembly of School Councils co-chair Malaka Hendela, seen here last summer, says making a decision in two weeks will have a 'significant impact' on parents' lives. Union says early deadline important Giving parents only two weeks to make a decision that won't become reality until the fall has a "significant impact," said Malaka Hendela, co-chair of the Ottawa-Carleton Assembly of School Councils. "The reality is, none of us know what September is going to look like," said Hendela, who also has a child attending one of the board's schools. "So this could be all for naught. This could be a huge amount of [planning] and then at the last minute — like [what] happened last September — we're delayed, we have to pivot, we have to change everything again." But according to David Wildman, president of the Ottawa-Carleton Elementary Occasional Teachers Association, having a tight deadline is extremely important for planning purposes. "It's very, very important to the teachers — whether they're occasional teachers or regular teachers — that the staffing process, which is very complex, is allowed enough time to happen," Wildman told CBC. "So that if they're changing their assignments, they have adequate time to prepare." Safety protocols in place In the letter, the OCDSB said schools can be safely operated with proper protocols in place, and that they're open to resuming regular operations incrementally over the course of the next school year. Elementary school children who return to in-person learning in September will remain cohorted by class, with staff rotating from classroom to classroom, the board said. Programs like Google Classroom will remain in place in case they need to switch to remote learning or if an individual student has to be isolated, the OCDSB said. For secondary students attending class in-person, the school year will be divided into quadmesters, except for the International Baccalaureate Program schools, which follow octomesters.
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Sunday Feb. 28, 2021. There are 864,196 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 864,196 confirmed cases (30,864 active, 811,372 resolved, 21,960 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 2,726 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 81.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 20,391 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,913. There were 45 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 330 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 47. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 57.78 per 100,000 people. There have been 24,328,440 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 981 confirmed cases (274 active, 701 resolved, six deaths). There were four new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 52.48 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 80 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 11. There was one new reported death Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.05 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 195,286 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 127 confirmed cases (13 active, 114 resolved, zero deaths). There were six new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 8.14 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 12 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 101,073 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,638 confirmed cases (39 active, 1,534 resolved, 65 deaths). There were four new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 3.98 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 30 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.64 per 100,000 people. There have been 326,109 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,430 confirmed cases (42 active, 1,362 resolved, 26 deaths). There were two new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 5.37 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 10 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There were zero new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.04 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 3.33 per 100,000 people. There have been 235,465 tests completed. _ Quebec: 287,003 confirmed cases (7,973 active, 268,645 resolved, 10,385 deaths). There were 858 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 92.98 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,547 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 792. There were 13 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 93 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 13. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.15 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 121.11 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,250,877 tests completed. _ Ontario: 299,754 confirmed cases (10,479 active, 282,315 resolved, 6,960 deaths). There were 1,185 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 71.12 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,755 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,108. There were 16 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 112 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 16. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.24 per 100,000 people. There have been 10,790,098 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 31,809 confirmed cases (1,208 active, 29,708 resolved, 893 deaths). There were 90 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 87.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 480 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 69. There were four new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 11 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 64.74 per 100,000 people. There have been 528,966 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 28,506 confirmed cases (1,548 active, 26,573 resolved, 385 deaths). There were 162 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 131.33 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,068 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 153. There were five new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 17 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.21 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.66 per 100,000 people. There have been 570,478 tests completed. _ Alberta: 133,203 confirmed cases (4,546 active, 126,774 resolved, 1,883 deaths). There were 415 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 102.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,468 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 353. There were six new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 65 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is nine. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.21 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 42.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,387,838 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 79,262 confirmed cases (4,719 active, 73,188 resolved, 1,355 deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 91.67 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,923 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 418. There were zero new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 28 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 26.32 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,910,966 tests completed. _ Yukon: 72 confirmed cases (zero active, 71 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.38 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,142 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 42 confirmed cases (three active, 39 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 6.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 14,451 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 356 confirmed cases (20 active, 335 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 50.82 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 18 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,615 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Feb. 28, 2021. The Canadian Press
When it comes to vaccine hesitancy, misinformation and mistrust sparked by "medical racism" are among issues confronting scientists, doctors and community groups trying to provide assurance as immunization programs roll out across Canada. Dina Guarin, 56, hasn't decided if she'll get vaccinated but said her sister, a nurse in Seattle, has already been immunized. "Will it be safe? Will it really keep us from getting COVID?" Guarin said from Vancouver. She said she knows someone who's worried about possible long-term consequences including infertility and that her 81-year-old mother and others in the Filipino community want information in Tagalog. Tara Moriarty, an infectious diseases researcher at the University of Toronto's faculties of dentistry and medicine, started a project in January to host seven-nights-a-week Zoom sessions with residents and staff of long-term care and retirement homes, along with family members, in order to provide reliable information on vaccines. "I had no idea when we started about just how much need there was," said Moriarty, whose past experience as a personal support worker in Montreal had her concerned about the slow deployment of vaccine and the potential for widespread deaths, especially among older adults. The initiative is run by COVID-19 Resources Canada, which Moriarty co-founded last March, and has expanded so anyone hesitant about getting vaccinated could join to get their questions answered by a rotating group of about 30 volunteer health-care experts. They include virologists, pharmacists, family doctors and scientists who offer jargon-free explanations. Moriarty said some of the top questions asked include how vaccines could have been developed in under a year and whether they can be administered to people taking certain medications, pregnant women or those with a chronic illness. "There are no talking heads," Moriarty said of the experts' conversational approach as they also address issues like bogus treatments being promoted online and the findings of the latest clinical trials. The project has been so successful that she has also started daytime Zoom sessions for unions representing health-care workers. Prital Patel, a public-health scientist with a PhD in medical biophysics from the University of Toronto, is a regular participant in the sessions and said they also provide experts like her a chance to understand the concerns of people as they "let their guard down" if they're hesitant about being immunized. "As scientists, we're a bit oblivious to what people are hearing on the ground and the kinds of misinformation that's leading them to perhaps become a bit hesitant. So we can actually really try and speak to the truth and the science behind everything in a way that's understandable." Those who may have experienced racism in the health-care system and are disproportionately affected by the pandemic are a key focus for her, Patel said from Sydney, Australia, where she is working on a project to understand the risk factors associated with health-care workers becoming infected with COVID-19. "As a person of colour, I'm there to represent any people who are from the South Asian background who may not speak English," said Patel, who speaks Gujarati and Hindi as well as some Kiswahili, which she learned in Kenya. British Columbia and Ontario have prioritized immunization for Indigenous communities, and federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller has said the government is working with other provincial and territorial health authorities to prepare mass vaccination programs for First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities. In northern Ontario, for example, residents of 31 remote communities, mostly of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, are currently being inoculated as teams of health-care workers are deployed there for a weeklong stint. Dr. Lisa Richardson, an internal medicine specialist and a strategic lead in Indigenous health at the University of Toronto's faculty of medicine, said she will be part of a team going north this week. The initiative headed by Ornge, the province's air ambulance service, requires health-care providers to take nine hours of training in Indigenous cultural safety to work with vulnerable communities that have historical reasons for vaccine hesitancy, Richardson said. "When I talk about vaccine hesitancy, I actually invert it and I say, 'problems with the health-care system that have led to vaccine hesitancy.' So, when you start to explain that historical context, people can then situate the mistrust in that," she said. "As an Indigenous practitioner, I hear about stories of mistreatment in the health-care system, even just locally, every week. So, it's an ongoing problem," said Richardson, noting the example of Quebec resident Joyce Echaquan, who posted a video of herself being verbally abused as she lay dying in hospital last October. Richardson said people who get adequate information about COVID-19 vaccines feel empowered to make their own choice, and the vast majority of people in Indigenous communities are getting immunized. "You're going to mull it over and make the decision yourself. That's really key so that it's not forced because there's been so much forced activity in health care, things that are done without consent." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021. Camille Bains, The Canadian Press
The Ailuromania Cat Cafe, which was the Middle East's first cat cafe when it opened in 2015, hopes the relaxing properties of its 25 rescue and shelter cats will help find them their forever homes. Now Ailuromania hosts cats from a government-run animal shelter in the neighbouring emirate of Ras al Khaimah, hoping to increase adoptions. The cafe's name Ailuromania is a play on the Greek-derived English word for a lover of cats: ailurophile.
(Keith Whelan/CBC - image credit) Skincare business Deciem's slogan, the Abnormal Beauty Company, underlines its niche in the world of cosmetics. And following a $2.2 billion dollar deal this week some are wondering if the start-up will maintain its unique reputation. Founded in Toronto in 2013, Deciem Beauty Group Inc. advertises itself as atypical, even if its popular skincare brand is called The Ordinary. Unlike most big skincare brands, it sells formulations with just a few ingredients, at unusually low prices. It has a strong following, including celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, with net sales for the 12 months ended Jan. 31, of about $460 million US. But some of that fan base is concerned, after learning that cosmetic giant Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. bought Deciem. Can an "industry disruptor," as Estée Lauder calls Deciem, keep prices down and connect with consumers after it's absorbed by a U.S. conglomerate? The New York-based multinational manufacturer of skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products will increase its stake in Deciem to 76 per cent from 29 per cent, then buy the remaining interests after three years. Deciem had gained a following as an alternative to big beauty. Its products come in plain white packaging with scientific sounding names and price tags that are a fraction of some of its rivals'. For example, Estée Lauder's Resilience Multi-effect moisturizer costs $124 Cdn for a 50-millilitre jar; The Ordinary's moisturizer is just $7.70 for 100 ml. WATCH | Fans of Canadian beauty brand concerned by Estée Lauder takeover: Sale raises concerns among consumers Some people took to social media with their concerns after the sale, afraid the new owner might tamper with the brand. There was talk of hoarding the products before the formula or price changes. Nneka Elliott, a beauty writer who sometimes contributes to CBC Life, said Deciem offers "unheard of" prices for certain products. She assumes Estée Lauder is looking for a foothold in the millennial and Gen Z markets. "It certainly was a little bit of a head-scratcher for me ... They're so on opposite ends of the scale, these two brands, so I was wondering what the impact was going to be once they completely roll out." She pointed to a popular, independent brand similar to Deciem's called Paula's Choice that she says changed radically after it was sold to a private equity firm. "We saw the prices just skyrocket. And then we saw a whole bunch of new products, just a wider range of products. And when that kind of happens, it gets a little bit confusing. And so people keep citing: 'Oh, I hope this is not another Paula's Choice.'" Deciem’s products have a reputation of being affordable. Deciem's co-founder and CEO, Nicola Kilner, said fans and employees have nothing to worry about. Accessible pricing is important to the new owners, who intend to keep the headquarters, lab and jobs in Canada. She said Estée Lauder can learn from Deciem's transparent approach to communication with customers, while Deciem can take advantage of Estée Lauder's distribution. The growth trajectory as a result of the partnership means Deciem, which is largely situated in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, will be looking at "hyper expansion" in staffing in its newer markets including India, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. Kilner said she thinks Estée Lauder appreciated Deciem's creativity and vision. "So they very much want to retain the independence, which I think is music to our ears." Big companies only buy small ones for control, expert says Business strategist Mark Satov, of Satov Consultants in Toronto, isn't buying that. "All this talk about: 'No, we're selling out but it's going to be [remaining] independent, and they're not going to control us and the big corporate giant is not going to tell us what to do' — it's all very cute to say, but it's not true." Big companies only buy smaller ones in order to control them, but it doesn't necessarily mean there will be changes, he said. If Estée Lauder has "a portfolio of brands, they want one brand like this and one brand like that ... so they can cater to a wide range of consumers depending on what they want. And ... I guess that there's no reason to raise the prices, especially if they don't have other brands that are in that price level." Estee Lauder products are displayed at a department store in South Portland, Maine. The company may want to keep its Deciem products at a low price point, one expert says. He compares the cosmetics industry to the beer industry: it doesn't matter what's in the bottles so much as what it says about the person who's buying it. With that in mind, it may have been a good time for Deciem to sell. "The cosmetics industry is not based on differences in quality; it's all based on brand cachet. And so to some degree, brands cannot be new and edgy and fun for 20 years. And so you launch new brands and they mature and then you put them in a certain slot. "It's actually a very good thing to sell to a larger house of brands, because you're not going to be cool and edgy for 20 years." He said people may be concerned about smaller Canadian companies being swallowed by larger U.S. ones, but there's little they can do about it. "What governments need to do is fund innovation in this country so that we develop great products that are successful enough and make sure that there's a community, an investment community, in this country that wants to buy it and retain it.... If we didn't allow Canadian companies to be sold to American companies, what would happen is [the Canadian companies] wouldn't get capital at the venture stage."
(Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press - image credit) Kaleb Dahlgren says he still has no memory of the crash that changed his life. Dahlgren played right wing for the Humboldt Broncos in 2018 and was on the team bus on April 6, 2018, when it collided with a tractor trailer while heading to Nipawin, Sask., for a playoff game. Sixteen people died that day at that highway intersection. Dahlgren was one of 13 who survived. He suffered a fractured skull, a puncture wound in his head, a brain injury and six broken vertebrae in his neck and back. "I think I might actually remember what happened one day. Lots of doctors have said that there is a possibility for sure, and I still have no real recollection of it yet," he said in an interview. "I hope I do eventually. I'm OK with understanding what happened and all that. And if it doesn't ... that's OK, too. I think whatever happens, happens, and there's nothing I can change about it." Dahlgren is 23 now, living with his parents in Saskatoon and studying commerce online at York University in Toronto. Now, in addition to his studies, he has co-written a memoir. Crossroads is the story of Dahlgren's life in hockey. The scene of the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 in Saskatchewan. Skating still a passion "I first got on the ice when I was two and took my first actual team skate when I was four," he said. "I just loved it. I loved going on the ice and hearing the little ripples in the ice, the skates when you stop, the sound it made, and even the wind going through my hair." Dahlgren met with CBC at the SaskTel Centre, a 13,000 seat hockey arena in the city's north end. After the interview, he laced up his CCMs and dumped a bag of pucks on the glossy ice. It quickly became apparent that talking about skating with Dahlgren is not the same as standing at centre ice while he comes from behind the net at speed. It's like getting passed by a sports car — a sports car with a big grin on its grille. The book weaves together Dahlgren's journey through the hockey system — he played for at least 30 teams over the years before joining the Broncos — with the challenges of managing Type 1 diabetes. The memoir also follows his life after the crash, from the months of rehabilitation, grief and uncertainty, to his decision to study at York. He'll graduate this year and plans to continue his studies and become a chiropractor. Different uniform, same smile. Kaleb Dahlgren, who survived the devastating Humboldt Broncos bus crash, on the ice with the York Lions in Toronto. He also had the chance at York to practise with the Lions, the university hockey team. He didn't participate in full contact drills, instead concentrating on his edge work, working with the goalies or even just passing the puck from the corner. "I really try to do my part and still be a great guy off the ice, too." Moving forward while honouring friends The memoir is also a tribute to the people who died that day. It's full of anecdotes about playing for a junior hockey team in a small town and features a chapter where he offers his memories of each of the victims. Dahlgren said one of the reasons for writing the book was to "set down the Bronco side of me." "So if anyone has any questions, they could read the book and then [I could] move forward and continue on living my life to the fullest, but still honour them and remember them every day." The 2018 Humboldt Broncos, less than a month before the deadly crash. He met with co-author Dan Robson four to five hours a week over a six-month span to coax out the details of his story and complete the manuscript. Robson, a writer with Sportsnet, has written autobiographies of hockey names like Pat Quinn and Johnny Bower and co-authored books with players like Doug Gilmore. WATCH: Kaleb Dahlgren talks about leadership on and off the ice A portion of proceeds from the sale of the book will go to STARS Air Ambulance. STARS helicopters ferried some of those injured in the crash that day to hospitals around the province. "They save lives every day, and I think there's nothing more special than having a second chance at life," Dahlgren said. Crossroads is set to be released on March 16.
(Shutterstock/HTWE - image credit) The Ontario government's new Combating Human Trafficking Act is a welcome start to tackling a widespread issue, but there may be a significant gap that needs to be addressed, the Opposition says. Bill 251 was introduced in the provincial legislature on Feb. 22 — National Human Trafficking Awareness Day — by Ontario Attorney General Sylvia Jones. "We are making bold leaps to raise awareness among the public, protect victims, support survivors, and hold perpetrators accountable," Jones said. More human trafficking is reported to police in Ontario than in any other part of the country, she said. One of the bill's cornerstones for rescuing victims recognizes the fact that they are often taken to hotels and motels to be sexually exploited. The first section of the proposed legislation requires hotels to maintain a registry of every guest who checks in — including their name and address. It also allows police officers and First Nations constables to more quickly gain access to a hotel's registry if "there are reasonable grounds to believe information recorded in the register will assist in locating or identifying a person who is currently a victim of human trafficking or is at imminent risk of being trafficked." But the bill doesn't specify whether people operating other types of lodging, including short-term rentals such as Airbnb, will be subject to the same requirements, said Chris Glover, an NDP opposition MPP. "There is a real need to not just go after hotels ... in terms of you know, regulating and asking them to participate," Glover said. "There's also a real need to get Airbnb involved and other short-term rental agencies to stop human trafficking in their sites as well." In addition to hotels, the bill says, "businesses in a prescribed class are also required to keep these registers." CBC News asked the Ontario government to clarify whether or not that would include Airbnb, but it was unable to provide a response by deadline. The bill also includes a provision for the attorney general or other government ministers to make additional regulations, including identifying other businesses to be included, after the the act becomes law. But Glover and other advocates say it's important to recognize that human trafficking occurs in many different types of short-term accommodations by specifying that in the legislation itself. "If it's not clear on its face when you read the act who is a 'prescribed class' or what lodging services apply, then it needs to be right in legislation so that everyone knows who it applies to," said Christa Big Canoe, legal advocacy director at Aboriginal Legal Services. Indigenous women and girls are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking in Canada. "One of the things we heard over and over again in the national inquiry [on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls] was the role of hotels or this type of temporary residence or living situations that sees Indigenous women put through sexual exploitation and trafficking at a huge rate," she said. Christa Big Canoe, legal advocacy director for Aboriginal Legal Services, says human trafficking and sexual exploitation happens in every form of lodging from five-star hotels to motels to short-term rentals, including Airbnb. Most people don't realize how often human trafficking happens, often "in plain sight," Big Canoe said. People often picture rundown, roadside motels when they think of trafficking, she said. It definitely happens there, but traffickers also exploit their victims in all sorts of lodging, from large five-star hotels to Airbnb rentals. "It's way more insidious than most people are aware. It's almost like society has a willful blindness," Big Canoe said. "It's like we see it and we look away, or we might suspect it but we don't act." In addition to keeping a registry of guests, hospitality workers should be trained to look for signs of trafficking, she said. For example, if a group of people check in and only one of them is a girl or woman, that can be a potential signal. Human traffickers often take their victims' credit cards — or steal their names to apply for new credit cards — and use them to book rooms, said Richard Dunwoody, executive director of Project Recover, a not-for-profit organization that helps survivors to regain their financial footing. Among more than 120 survivors the organization helped last year, Dunwoody said, credit card receipts showed their traffickers used hotels and services like Airbnb about equally. Both Glover and Big Canoe say they hope the bill will be amended as it moves through second and third readings before receiving royal assent and becoming law. Who to call if you believe human trafficking is happening Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-833-900-1010 Click here to see the hotline's website or to use the chat function.
(Remi Authier/Radio Canada - image credit) The head of the Renfrew County and District Health Unit says he may implement tighter pandemic restrictions in parts of the region following a sudden rise in cases in communities just outside Ottawa. The health unit has confirmed 15 positive COVID-19 cases over the past week, mostly in the town of Arnprior, Ont., and the nearby township of McNab/Braeside, Ont., according to Dr. Robert Cushman, acting medical officer of health for the region. Cushman said the people attended the same social gathering and then spread the virus by visiting several different households and businesses. "It appears to be just some, you know, 'Let's party. Let's have fun,'" Cushman said Saturday. "I've heard about ice fishing, I've heard about indoor parties. I've heard about a lot of celebration." According to the health unit, those who were infected then worked at or visited seven local businesses while contagious. The health unit closed one business, Cushman said, while several other businesses chose to temporarily shut down on their own. The cases involve roughly five households, the health unit said. "What you're seeing here, I think, is just sort of wanton disrespect and neglect," Cushman said. Mayor 'a little bit angry' Renfrew County is currently green under the province's colour-coded COVID-19 risk assessment framework, which comes with the least severe pandemic restrictions. McNab/Braeside Mayor Tom Peckett reiterated that just because the region is green doesn't mean people can ignore the rules. "Even if our area is in a green zone, the rules of keeping apart and not having large gatherings is still in effect," he said. Peckett said he was disappointed since most people are following the rules and the actions of a few could impact everyone else in the community. "That makes me a little bit angry, that they're not thinking about anyone else but themselves," he said. 'COVID fatigue' In a statement, Ontario's Ministry of Health said it was in close contact with medical officers of health across the province in order to swiftly react to shifts in the pandemic. While it's the province's decision to move the region into the more-restrictive yellow zone — a decision also based on more than a sudden spike in cases — medical officers of health have the power to impose Section 22 orders to target specific areas of transmission, the ministry noted. It's a step Cushman isn't ruling out. "We may be pushed to take more restrictive measures in a given town ... rather than apply them across the board to Renfrew County," he said. The outbreak comes a week after Cushman released a video message warning residents the county was seeing an increase in the number of contacts per infected person. He said he was speaking out harshly now because he doesn't want rising case numbers to become a trend. "People have all got COVID fatigue. And one thing that will give them more COVID fatigue is to close down the economy further," he said. "So we don't want to do that."
(Michael Wilson/CBC - image credit) In an effort to encourage Canadians to keep in touch during the pandemic, Canada Post is sending every household a free postcard to mail to a loved one. Starting Monday,13.5 million postage-paid postcards will begin arriving at every residential address across the country. "I think that everyone has missed weddings and funerals and birthday celebrations, and we've all missed people and loved ones across the country," said Sylvie Lapointe, a spokesperson with Canada Post in Ottawa. A postcard is one way to tell people they're on your mind, she said. The Canada Post Write Here Write Now campaign aims to help Canadians connect through letter writing. Each household will receive one of six designs, including messages such as "Wishing I were there/Tu me manques" and "Sending smiles/Je t'embrasse." The blank postcards have a series of messages on the front and can be mailed anywhere in Canada for free. People can drop the postcards off in any community mailbox or post office and address them to anywhere in Canada. "Meaningful connection is vital for our emotional health, sense of community and overall well-being," said Doug Ettinger, president and CEO of Canada Post, in a news release. "Canada Post wants everyone to stay safe but also stay in touch with the people who matter to them." Increase in people reaching out The campaign comes at a time when traditional letter mail has been in steep decline. In its 2019 report, the Crown corporation said the number of letters and paper bills sent to people's homes fell by 55 per cent since 2006. Yet, spokesperson Lapointe believes the pandemic likely made a dent in that decline, especially over the holiday season. Two of the six postcard designs being sent out to Canadians. 'Meaningful connection is vital for our emotional health,' says Doug Ettinger, president and CEO of Canada Post. "We've seen an increase in the past year in people needing, wanting to reach out to each other," she said. "Over Christmas time, we saw the red and the green envelopes going through our operations in high volume." The global pandemic has posed major challenges to Canada Post but also resulted in more parcel mail as limits on in-person shopping drove consumers online. However, Canada Post said that explosion in home parcel deliveries was not enough to offset revenue losses caused by a drop in letter mail and extra operational-safety costs. With the cost of a single stamp sitting at $1.07 — or $0.92 if purchased in a booklet — Canada Post's free postcard endeavour could also come with a hefty price tag. Lapointe said she didn't know the total cost of the postcard campaign but that the infrastructure is already in place to deliver them.
(John Woods/The Canadian Press - image credit) Lawmakers in Maine are discussing how the state could plug into a proposed Canadian electricity grid that is meant to make renewable energy more accessible and affordable for the Atlantic provinces and Quebec. Christopher Kessler, a Democrat in the Maine House of Representatives, introduced a bill last month that would see the state lobby for a seat at the negotiating table for an interconnected clean energy grid called the Atlantic Loop. The Atlantic Clean Power Planning Committee — made up of officials from federal and provincial governments, and major electric utilities — has been talking about the Atlantic Loop since 2019, and released a rough map of the grid in a report last summer. The Trudeau Liberals gave the Atlantic Loop a nod of support in last fall's Throne Speech. The loop would likely rely on some upgrades to existing energy lines, and some new construction, but no detailed plan has been made public. This map of a possible Atlantic Loop route was included in an interim report from the Atlantic Clean Power Planning Committee in August 2020. The committee is expected to release a final report in March. Maine looking to export renewable energy Kessler said he wants his state to be part of the loop because Maine and Atlantic Canada have similar goals for removing carbon from their electric grids, and linking up could be mutually beneficial. He said it would also help Maine with its goal of eventually selling renewable energy to other jurisdictions. "Maine has an interest in not just having access to renewable energy to help stabilize our grid and make it more reliable, but Maine also has goals to be a renewable energy exporter," Kessler said in an interview. He pointed out that Maine already has infrastructure linking it to New Brunswick and Quebec, but whether those links will connect with the rest of the Atlantic Loop is unclear. "It's all completely up in the air as to how [the Atlantic Loop] would look. That's the exact point of this starting of the conversation, is so we can have those discussions and do that analysis and see if there is something where both Maine and the Atlantic provinces can work together so we can reach our decarbonization goals." Should Kessler's bill pass, it would require the governor to voice interest in the Atlantic Loop directly to the prime minister and the premiers of all the involved provinces, and ask for "equal footing" in all negotiations. Governor's office suggests staying out of negotiations The bill went to a public hearing at a committee of the state legislature earlier this month. Next, it will be debated further by committee members, who will decide whether to advance it to the whole House of Representatives. If it passes at the house, it would move to the state senate for a final vote. Workers are shown on the construction site of the hydroelectric facility at Muskrat Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador in 2015. The Atlantic Loop would be fed, in part, by hydroelectric projects like Muskrat Falls. One of the testimonies submitted to the public hearing was from the Governor's Energy Office. Office director Dan Burgess wrote that rather than pushing for a place at the negotiating table, "it may be more productive for Maine to continue monitoring the ongoing planning initiative and any advancements of the Atlantic Loop concept." Kessler disagreed. "I think that being actively involved is the only option … We will miss out on any potential opportunities if we don't ask. And we certainly need to be an active participant rather than a spectator," he said. Since that public hearing, Kessler said, he's been working with the governor's office to come up with some solutions for the points Burgess raised. MORE TOP STORIES
(Dave Irish/CBC - image credit) The latest stage of a project that will see the further development of the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax's Bedford Basin will have no significant adverse environmental impact, says the Crown corporation responsible for the project. The Halifax Port Authority plans to construct an 11-bay, 2,700-square-metre building to be used by Canada Border Services Agency for examining shipping containers at the terminal. A truck gate — where electronic scanners help keep track of containers and their cargo — will also be built, along with a large asphalt compound and new roads, including one that will connect the project to Africville Road. The new infrastructure will be constructed on land that has been created by infilling the Bedford Basin over the past several years. In total, nearly four hectares of the infilled land will be paved to accommodate the project. As part of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada's approval process, the port authority was required to assess the potential effects of the container examination facility and truck gate. Port authority spokesperson Lane Farguson said an environmental consultant hired by the port authority concluded there would be no significant adverse environmental effects. The port authority would not elaborate on how that conclusion was reached, saying only that the determination was made through the impact assessment process. In order to mitigate potential adverse environmental effects, silt fences will be installed around the perimeter to prevent silt-laden water and debris from getting into the basin, vehicles will be equipped with mufflers to reduce noise and lighting will be designed to reduce light pollution. Project will reduce truck traffic, says port authority Right now, when the CBSA selects containers to inspect, they are trucked to the Burnside business park and then back to the terminal before they move on to their destination. Farguson said having a container examination facility at the terminal will reduce truck traffic over the MacKay Bridge and in the Burnside area. "It will reduce the associated mileage and greenhouse gas emissions," he said. "It is a small step toward a slightly smaller carbon footprint." The project involves the construction of an 11-bay container examination facility, seen in the above rendering as a brown building in the centre of the photo. Members of the public were invited to comment on the potential environmental impact of the project in November and December, but Farguson said no comments were received. Construction on the container examination building, truck gate and roads could get underway later this year, said Farguson. Infilling project approved in 2012 The infilling project, called the Fairview Cove Sequestration Facility, was approved by the federal government and began in 2012. In total, as of the end of November 2020, about 6.3 hectares have been infilled, or an area about one-third the size of Citadel Hill. The material used to fill in the water is largely pyritic slate that has been removed from construction sites on the peninsula. "You can't just leave that lying around on the surface, because when it gets interacting with fresh water and oxygen — in other words, if it rains on top of this stuff — you get acidic runoff and that acidic runoff can affect freshwater streams," Farguson said. Infilling has been taking place since 2012. In July 2018, a man died when the dumptruck he was operating rolled into the water at the site. The construction company he worked for was fined $60,000 for failing to provide proper guidance and equipment. The pyritic slate is buried in the seawater near the Fairview Cove terminal and then capped with clean fill. "That way, you take oxygen out of the mix and then it's no longer an aerobic environment. And for us, it's a great building material for that type of thing," Farguson said. More change is expected at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in the coming years. In 2019, the federal government announced funding to link the north-end terminal with the container terminal by Point Pleasant Park in Halifax's south end, as part of the Windsor Street Exchange Redevelopment Project. MORE TOP STORIES
(Andrew Burton/Reuters - image credit) The agency he runs fell afoul of the Federal Court — and now the country's chief spy is intensifying his campaign for new powers and sounding the alarm about the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's ability to keep tabs on hostile foreign states. But civil liberties advocates are urging Parliament to be skeptical if it agrees to crack open the legislation that governs CSIS. In a rare public speech earlier this month, CSIS director David Vigneault took aim at the spy agency's legislation. "We need to ensure that CSIS authorities continue to evolve so that they are able to address the challenges of the significantly more complex environment around us," he said. "Our act sets technological limitations on intelligence collection that were not foreseen by the drafters of the legislation in 1984 and unduly limit our investigations in a modern era." WATCH | CSIS head takes aim at security laws His speech, delivered virtually to the Centre for International Governance Innovation, said that hostile foreign governments — notably China and Russia — are "aggressively" targeting Canada to obtain political and economic advantages. Leah West, a former federal lawyer who is now a lecturer on national security issues at Carleton University, said the service has been constrained for years by two words in its enabling law: "within Canada." CSIS isn't able to collect foreign intelligence in the way the CIA or MI6 does. Section 16 of the CSIS Act allows the service to collect foreign intelligence relating to the capabilities, intentions or activities of any foreign state — as long as the information itself is located within Canada. "There's a huge gap in Canada's foreign intelligence collection abilities," West said. "In this day and age, having a good understanding of the intents and abilities and priorities of foreign governments is really important. We are living in a global pandemic. This information is extremely important these days." The limitations placed on CSIS's sphere of operations by the law make it unclear whether, for example, the intelligence agency could access a target's information if the data in question were sent via an email hosted on a server outside of Canada. In a rare public speech earlier this month, CSIS Director David Vigneault took aim at the spy agency's legislation. Meanwhile, the Communications Security Establishment — Canada's foreign signals agency — is prohibited from collecting intelligence on people within Canada. "There's a gap for people in Canada who store their data outside of Canada," said West. "And that's a gap that, if I was a foreign state entity, I'd be looking to take advantage of." Federal Court has pushed back at CSIS In recent years, the Federal Court has ruled against CSIS over its approach to foreign intelligence. Just this month, a judge denied the service's request to collect foreign information, ruling that a proposed technique would stray beyond the spy service's legal mandate. The court has noted in the past that Parliament imposed the "within Canada" requirement because collecting intelligence in other countries could harm Canada's international relations — an interpretation CSIS rejects. "The court's interpretation of the 'within Canada' limitation in the context of new technology significantly impacts the ability [of] CSIS to provide advice to the minister of foreign affairs or national defence," CSIS spokesperson John Townsend told CBC News this week. The government of Canada has filed an appeal of that recent Federal Court decision posing specific questions pertaining to the interpretation of CSIS's authority to collect foreign intelligence. Stephanie Carvin, a professor of international affairs at Carleton University and a former national security analyst, called Vigneault's speech a plea for attention from Parliament. "What the director is effectively saying is, 'Look, we've stressed our mandate as far as it goes, but it's no longer adequate to address some of these threats,'" she said. "I think there's this real misconception that intelligence services want to operate in the dark and in the shadows and things like this, and to a certain extent they do. But they also really like legal certainty." But lawyer Lex Gill, an affiliate with the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, said lawmakers should be reluctant to entertain CSIS's requests for greater authority in light of the court's concerns. "The greater a state actor's ability to infringe [on] our privacy rights and our other constitutional rights, the more robust the mechanisms for prior judicial authorization, oversight and review must be," she wrote in an email to CBC News. "It's fair to say that intelligence agencies in Canada have had a track record of asking for more of the former without due regard for the latter." CSIS's request for 'modern tools' questioned Vigneault also said the act needs to be updated so that the service can "use modern tools and assess data and information" — in part to keep up with the flood of information. "When the CSIS Act was drafted in 1984, telephone books and alligator clips on phone lines were among the tools used to identify threat actors and collect information. Information was stored in silos," said Townsend. "The changes contemplated are not about addressing the issue of encryption. Rather, it is about ensuring CSIS analysts have the tools and authorities to help them make sense of exponentially growing data, in strict accordance with Canadians' expectations of privacy." WATCH | Head of CSIS says he's 'most concerned' by the actions of Russia and China That worries Brenda McPhail, privacy director at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. "To me, that sounds like they're looking to leverage artificial intelligence applications and they want to be able to potentially combine large data sets to train and draw inferences from combining different sets of data," she said. That kind of data collection and surveillance can be particularly alarming for people of colour, said McPhail. "It comes from a place of incredible privilege to say, 'I have nothing to hide, so I have nothing to fear.' So a middle aged white woman like me might be able to say that and think she means it," she said. "But a young Black man who's ever been stopped simply for the crime of driving Black would be deeply and intimately aware that it doesn't matter if you're blameless. "People are unjustly and disproportionately targeted and as people in Canada we should care about that. " Who gets to hear CSIS's secrets? CSIS also has signalled it wants Parliament to take another look at the part of the act that says who it can provide classified briefings to. Section 19 of the act says the agency can advise "the government of Canada". Townsend said the agency can still give "sanitized threat overviews" and unclassified briefings to external stakeholders, but stressed that threats to Canada's COVID-19 vaccine rollout have shown that private sector firms play a role in national security. Carvin said that, for years, espionage was focused on governments targeting other governments' secrets and military plans. "That has changed. We are now looking at governments that are targeting NGOs, activist groups in Canada, for clandestine foreign influence purposes, that they're targeting cities and provinces because they control critical infrastructure in Canada and businesses who have lots of important data that is now strategic," she said. "The nature of the threat is such that maybe [CSIS] needs to be talking to groups that are being targeted, say by China." The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has tried to take CSIS to task for sharing information on protesters with the National Energy Board (NEB) and petroleum industry companies — something the advocacy group sees as a violation of section 19 of the CSIS Act. The spy agency's watchdog dismissed BCCLA's complaint and the association is now taking its case to the Federal Court. Government 'will always work with security agencies' Updating the CSIS Act was not mentioned in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's mandate letter to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair. The minister's spokesperson, Mary-Liz Power, said the government is opening to working with CSIS but wouldn't say if the Liberal government would undertake a review of the law any time soon. "Canadians expect their government's agencies to keep pace with evolving threats and global trends, and we agree. The National Security framework in Canada is always evolving to meet the moment. It is critical that this work be done in accordance with the rule of law, and never at the expense of Canadians' Charter rights," she said. "We will always work with security agencies and expert partners across government to ensure our agencies have the tools they need to keep us all safe." Brenda McPhail, privacy director at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said CSIS should be clear about why it's asking the government to update its authorites. The Liberal government overhauled parts of the national security law in 2019, including the rules governing CSIS's use of data sets. NDP public safety critic Jack Harris said any discussion of changing the law would have to proceed with caution. "Any request for new powers would need to be clearly substantiated and considered along with assurances that any such powers would be used appropriately," he said in a media statement. "In light of CSIS's history and judicial comments on their relationship with the court, we need to be vigilant." McPhail said she wants to see nuanced conversations about CSIS's powers take place both in Parliament and in public — but the agency needs to be more open about what it wants. WATCH | Head of CSIS on foreign states threatening national security "If there are specific authorities that are needed in order to create specific tools that will have genuine benefit to national security, then we need more than a vague, 'We need more modern authorities,'" she said. "We need a statement that says, 'We want to use artificial intelligence applications for the following purposes.' Not operational details, just [a] broad policy level statement. "There's everything to be gained and nothing to be lost from an open public conversation ..." Carvin said studying and opening the legislation would allow politicians and the public to engage with difficult questions about privacy, national security and foreign intelligence. "In the pandemic, intelligence has become extremely important on so many levels," she said. "So I think there is the potential for Parliament to actually do something."
“Black human beings were sold on our soil. It was in our own backyard,” said Clinton Davis, a member of Black in the Maritimes. The organization has been working with the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick and has compiled bills of sale for Black people, and notices about Black slaves who had run away, escaping along the Petitcodiac or Saint John rivers, he said. In one notice a Black boy named Sippeo is recorded as being sold for 15 pounds on July 8, 1797. The archives also produced three documents related to the sale and purchase of slaves by a Charles Dixson in Westmorland County. “It’s one thing to know slavery existed here, but it's another thing to hold the evidence in your hands,” said Davis. Seeing the hand-written note for a bill of sale for slaves was unnerving, giving him shivers, he said. “Embarrassed about it or not, this needs to be known,” Davis said, adding it's a part of Canadian history that should be widely shared. “Descendants of these slaves might still be here. Black people deserve not to feel like outsiders. We were here,” said Davis. Meredith J. Batt, the archivist at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick who gathered the material for the group, said the archives have quite a collection of materials to support the history of Black people in New Brunswick. Some came as free Black loyalists, but many as servants or slaves, she said. The artifacts do not represent uncommon occurrences, she said. “Some people prefer to believe this didn’t happen here,” she said. Looking through the materials the group had been sent, “We felt the descriptions of runaway slaves were akin to what you might hear on a police radio,” said Davis, noting how slaves were described as “very Black” or other such characteristics. The materials demonstrate that New Brunswick has a history of systemic racism, said Davis, something he wants to see discussed and taught in schools along with these materials. Education Minister Dominic Cardy told the Times & Transcript he has had good meetings with groups such as Black Lives Matter Fredericton and Black Lives Matter Saint John who, along with other groups and individuals, recently called on the minister to include more Black history content in the school curriculum. He has encouraged these groups to share materials they think would be useful to be included and is encouraging schools to add materials that arise to what they are currently teaching before the revised curriculum is developed. When asked if there were elements in the current curriculum that directly address teaching that slavery existed in New Brunswick, Cardy said a lot of teachers have been doing this for decades, noting his own schooling in the Fredericton area included this. Groups like Black in the Maritimes want to see this happen holistically, not ad hoc. Cardy said many of the issues being raised would have a place in the new civics curriculum, but the timeline for when this will be completed is unclear as many resources are being tied up with keeping schools safe from COVID. When asked if the words "history of systemic racism" will be specifically included when the curriculum is next revised, he said, “Absolutely. "Looking at issues of how societies exhibit, exercise power over groups within their societies, or other groups outside of their countries or civilizations, those are all absolutely part of any conversation around civics in 2021,” he said. Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
CALGARY — Ontario's Rachel Homan is a win away from another Canadian women's curling championship.Homan's 7-2 win over Saskatchewan and defending champion Kerri Einarson's 10-9 loss in an extra end to Manitoba on Saturday combined to give Ontario a bye to Sunday's championship game.Homan is a three-time winner of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in 2017, 2014 and 2013.Homan and Einarson owned identical 10-2 records at the conclusion of the championship round Saturday.Homan's 7-4 win over Einarson in a Pool A game Thursday was the tiebreaker giving Ontario the higher playoff seeding.Einarson has a place in Sunday afternoon's semifinal as the second seed. The defending champs await the winner of a morning tiebreaker between Manitoba's Jennifer Jones and Alberta's Laura Walker, who were both 9-3.Homan has lost two straight Hearts finals in extra ends — to Einarson last year in Moose Jaw, Sask., and Chelsea Carey two years ago in Sydney, N.S.In the third trimester of her pregnancy, Homan will play in her third in three years.Walker won a fifth straight game to keep the host province in contention for the national women's curling crown. Alberta came from behind to cap the championship round with a 9-4 win over Chelsea Carey's Wild Card One.Six-time champion Jones stayed in the hunt for a record seventh drawing for the win against Einarson on Saturday.The 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts is one of four Curling Canada events to be held in a spectator-free, controlled environment at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary.The COVID-19 pandemic thwarting many provincial and territorial playdowns prompted Curling Canada to add two wild-card teams to the Hearts field for a total of 18, which in turn shrunk the playoff window.Instead of the traditional four teams in a Page playoff, only three advance.Einarson is attempting the first back-to-back Hearts titles since Homan in 2013-14.Sunday's victor earns $100,000 in prize money and a return trip to the 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Thunder Bay, Ont., as Team Canada.The runner-up earns $60,000 and $40,000 goes to the third-place team. The winner doesn't have a world championship, however, in which to wear the Maple Leaf.The March 19-28 tournament in Schaffhausen, Switzerland was cancelled by the World Curling Federation because of the pandemic. The 2020 world championship in Prince George, B.C., was called off for the same reason, so Einarson wasn't able to represent Canada there.Beth Peterson's Wild Card Three (7-5) finished with a 10-3 win over Quebec's Laurie St-Georges (6-6) on Saturday. Wild Card One, with Carey filling in at skip for Tracy Fleury, and Saskatchewan's Sherry Anderson also finished 6-6.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press
(Jon Hernandez/CBC - image credit) Even on a cold February afternoon — months before the kiteboarding season starts up — the Squamish Spit is a recreational hot spot. Dog-walkers, hikers and cyclists make their way to the end of the dike that juts out into the head of Howe Sound. The wind chills aren't enough to prevent them from taking in views of the Squamish Chief towering over the water. "The mountains and the ocean all together at once, they're just beautiful views," said Michelle Fennings, who was out for a bike ride down the spit on Friday. "This is probably one of our favourite spots to come." When temperatures are warmer, the spit becomes one of Canada's premier wind-sports hubs. Nikki Layton first came across it more than six years ago, and she's been a kiteboarder ever since. "I've kited in Maui, I've kited in Mexico," she said. "But this place is just so magnificent, you're out there kiting, the seals are playing, and you have these amazing rock structures beside you. It's just mind-boggling." Nikki Layton stands at the south end of the Squamish Spit on a windy February afternoon. But the days of easy access to the spit could be coming to an end — and soon. For years, plans have been in motion to restore salmon populations that have been disrupted by the dike. According to the Squamish River Watershed Society (SRWS), all signs point to decommissioning about a kilometre of road in September that leads to the end of the spit, making an island of the remaining patch of land. Those plans have yet to be finalized. Layton, who is president of the Squamish Windsports Society, says the group was blindsided by the latest developments, which have deviated from earlier plans to improve salmon habitat while maintaining road access to the spit. The society is now scrambling to figure out how it will be able to maintain user access to the site once the the road is deconstructed. "That's the five-to-ten-million-dollar question," said Layton. Salmon decline The spit partially divides the Squamish estuary from the Squamish River. The watershed society says the spit's impact on chinook salmon stocks was almost immediately noticed when it was built in the 1970s. It was initially constructed to provide access to a coal port that was never built. Reports suggest salmon populations in the river were as high as 15,000 per year prior to construction. Populations declined to as few as 500 in the mid-1980s, but have since risen to 5,000 due to restoration. Chinook salmon populations have decreased since the construction of the spit, which divides the Squamish River from Howe Sound. In 2017, the watershed society partnered with the DFO and the Squamish Nation to figure out how to improve connectivity between the estuary and the river. "Juvenile chinook require a certain amount of time in the estuary before they go out in the ocean for survival," said Edith Tobe, executive director of the Squamish River Watershed Society. "The river is acting like a fire hose, shooting them out into Howe Sound." "Basically, this has been cutting them off all those years," said Tobe. Spit deconstruction The SRWS has secured $1.6 million for the rehabilitation project. In a December 2017 funding agreement between the DFO and SRWS, it's suggested that the spit would be realigned to create "300 hectares of wetted tidal habit for salmonids" and "maintain road access for wind-sport and recreational enthusiasts." Edith Tobe stands in front of a section of road of the Squamish Spit that is expected to be removed to restore lost salmon habitat. Tobe says the original proposal was "pie in the sky" and, according to early modelling, wouldn't have achieved restoration goals. Now the plan is to deconstruct a kilometre of road, without replacement, starting in September. The plans are subject to approval by the District of Squamish and regulators. Tobe says the watershed society is willing to share its data with recreational groups so users can come up with their own solution to the access problem. The wind-sports society is campaigning for an alternative access road that would run from downtown Squamish to the end of the spit. But for now, it's unclear where the money would come from. In peak season, the Squamish Spit is one of the premier kiteboarding sites in Canada. "At no point are we saying we don't want them to do what they need to do," said Layton. "We're just saying give us a enough time so we can work together to build a realignment, rather than a pure removal."